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Do Black Lives Matter in NYC?

  • 1.  Do Black Lives Matter in NYC?

    Posted 08-05-2020 10:07

    I was an early supporter of Jan Wampler's attempt to place a full page ad in the New York Times expressing Fellows' support of Black Lives Matter.  We are at a time, where, maybe, just maybe, we can implement real change.  I remain ready to contribute what I can when Jan is ready to launch.

    But, as a Fellow pointed out early in the conversation, "we can walk and chew gum at the same time."  Jan selected the New York Times because it is our nation's newspaper of record.  As a transplanted NYC Fellow, I am proud to live and practice in New York.  I don't think I am alone in having a certain conceit as an NYC Fellow that we have the opportunity and responsibility to be a leading component of the College of Fellows.  In that spirit let us as a group ask the Center for Architecture, AIANY and all of its subcommittees, task forces, and publications to make the following commitment:


     That for the next five years, all new initiatives will have as their focus communities of color, minority architects and students, and/or other circumstances of unjust social inequality in our profession and in the City of New York.  


    Surely we have built up enough debt, whether through neglect or intent, to make this an imperative for our profession's local organizations.  Five years of excessive focus on "others" might lead us to a more just path in the future.

    Furthermore, we should ask the Center to promptly hire an underemployed minority architect to facilitate and monitor conformance to this commitment.

    I hope you New York Fellows who share the desire for a more just New York and U.S. will join in this call.

    Be well, safe and free.
    Mike Mense FAIA
    Hamilton Heights
    New York City

    Mike Mense FAIA
    New York NY

  • 2.  RE: Do Black Lives Matter in NYC?

    Posted 08-07-2020 02:23
    Mike, I support creating a response that includes, but is greater than, a supportive NYT's page.

    However, I believe we need to make a lifetime commitment to amending/implementing policies that are equitable. It is the responsibility of those who supported the policies that have created inequity to lead and monitor the path to equity. This should include not only new policies but revisions to existing policies that promote, intentionally or unintentionally, inequity.

    I share your desire for a just New York and United States of America. Let's work together with our fellow New York Fellows to finalize our commitment statement and implementation plan.

    Julia Monk FAIA

    Julia Monk FAIA
    Hospitality Thought Leader
    New York l Hong Kong

  • 3.  RE: Do Black Lives Matter in NYC?

    Posted 08-10-2020 19:14
    Dear Julia and All
    I certainly agree with what you have said.
    However the purpose of the NYT page is to tell a very large audience that architects in US are committed to making our profession a better place for all minority groups, particularly for BLM since they have been discriminated against for centuries in every way.  The page would have BLM at the top in bold lettering, followed by the NOMA summary of their manifesto, followed by 500 names that support the cause and this followed by how to donate for funds for a number of ways that we can help.   There is no one way that will solve the problem but requires all of us to make this commitment every day.   By having this in the NYT it will be a reminder for all us for years go come.  As one person from NOMA stated posters of the NYT page, could be made that should be in very office as a daily reminder. There are so many areas that we can help.
    So, the NYT page is much more than just an announcement  but a life long commitment on our part.
    Thanks for your comments

    Jan Wampler FAIA
    Jamaica Plain MA